Soon after news of a Tibetan minor girl being allegedly raped by two Tibetan men namely Nyima Tai and Choephel in Mundgod Tibetan Settlement – South India, the regional Tibetan Women’s Association (Mundgod) contacted the Settlement Officer.
The next day, TWA’s Vice President – Samten Chodon left for Mundgod to confirm the news. Upon reaching there, she met with the parents of the victim along with the Settlement Officer and RTWA Executives and further studied the case. With the parent’s consent, they decided to file a case against the two culprits which was soon followed by the local police arresting the accused.
On August 26, the Minister (Kalon) for the Department of Home, Dolma Gyari and representatives from 24 different associations/institutions convened a meeting in Mundgod Tibetan Settlement. Dolma Gyari mentioned ‘The Department of Home shall provide any necessary assistance to both the victim and her family.’ She further requested to form a committee to support the victim’s family to attend the court’s hearing.
It is sad and appalling that such case has happened in the Tibetan community; however we believe it is never too late to take concrete action against such heinous acts. The Tibetan Women’s Association (within its power) has and will support those who are victims of injustice and cruelty in any form.
Starting this year, the TWA has begun a one year project which aims to provide Legal Rights education/workshop at various Tibetan settlements across India.
This one-year project (April 2013 to March 2014) is a direct outreach program and essentially an educational and empowerment campaign on Human Rights and Women’s legal rights. The program aims to encourage women to pursue justice rather than wait for its appearance, inform them about its means and procedures, and it also emphasizes the strength of sisterhood and women power to overcome the atrocities against women.
The project is divided into 5 phases which will be jointly administered by a Legal Empowerment of Tibetan Women Action Team (LETWA) headed by the Project Coordinator at Central TWA.
Phase one is a Ground Research, Survey cum legal empowerment training program, phase two is the quantitative analysis of the survey results and post-training report. Phase three is a ‘two-day conference’ attended by legal experts, women activists, local leaders and media to discuss the survey results, gender status of women in exile India and significantly to devise social programs and legal measures to combat the discrimination and violence women face in exile India, while seeking to create a gender equal community. Phase 4 is the production of an academic report based on the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the survey, training reports and significantly the recommendations on social and legal measures and the production of an action-plan adopted during the conference. Phase five will prepare for the implementation of these programs within the next one year.
Through intensive education awareness campaigning, we intend to close the gaps and inform communities on human rights, women’s rights, legal rights and the significance of gender empowerment. The project aims to match the significance and vigour underlying the Tibetan democracy and human rights with the recipients – the exiled Tibetan population – and thereby achieve a gender equal and healthy environment for the exile Tibetan community where women are protected against any form of discrimination, risks and violence.
The project started from Sonamling and Changthang Tibetan settlements in Ladak, Jammu and Kishmir and continue from there to all Tibetan settlements in India. Please go to this link to see all the pictures related to the project carried in Ladhak:
The Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) is a non-government organization which advocates human rights of Tibetan Women in Tibet and empowerment of Tibetan women in exile. TWA places great priority on the contributions of Tibetan women towards the preservation and promotion of the distinct religion, culture and identity of the Tibetan people. TWA serves the Tibetan community as a whole with activities addressing religious and cultural issues, educational needs, social welfare, the environment and the political participation and social empowerment of women.